Morris Hospital Makes Transition to One Electronic Health Record
March 30, 2023, Morris, IL – On April 1, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers will make the transition to a new electronic health record (EHR) system using Meditech Expanse. The $12 million strategic project has involved years of planning and preparation and will result in one combined patient record rather than separate physician office and hospital records.
“We have been using multiple electronic health record systems in different care settings for years because that was the best solution at a previous time,” explains John Wilcox, Chief Information Officer at Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers. “With improvements in technology, today we are able to use one electronic health record system whether we’re seeing a patient in the physician office setting, caring for an inpatient at the hospital, treating a patient in our Emergency Department, or performing diagnostic testing.”
“For our staff and providers, having one electronic health record means one login and one point of access for all patient information. For patients, it means having one portal for all medical records associated with Morris Hospital and our Healthcare Centers instead of two separate portals like we have today,” he says.
Morris Hospital selected Meditech Expanse after an extensive vendor review process in 2018. The next step involved preparing for the system infrastructure by purchasing additional server capacity and storage. In early 2020, the project was placed on hold due to the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic. The project resumed in March 2022, with the past 13 months spent building and testing the new system and training over 1,500 staff and providers.
“Changing to a new electronic health record system is typically a once in 20 year event for a healthcare organization,” says Wilcox. “Our Board of Directors recognized that this is a necessary, top strategic initiative for our organization that will enhance continuity of care, patient safety, and operational effectiveness. It will touch every patient who uses Morris Hospital for any service and every person in our organization who logs in to our electronic health record system.”
“Our team has done an outstanding job over the past 13 months working through thousands and thousands of details that were necessary to make a transition of this magnitude,” he adds.
In order to accommodate for the additional time that may be needed while staff and providers adjust to the new electronic health record system, adjustments have been made to the patient schedules in certain settings for the first four weeks following the April 1 “go live” date.
The launch will also impact Morris Hospital’s patient portals. Patients will still be able to log in to the hospital portal, My Health@Morris Hospital and the MHealth app, using their same user name and password. Beginning April 1, appointments and visit summaries associated with physician office visits in a Morris Hospital Healthcare Center will also be available in this portal. In addition, patients will be able to message their Morris Hospital Healthcare Center providers through the new portal, request prescription refills, and pay both hospital and physician office bills.
While the physician office portal, or Healow app, will still be available to patients for viewing for a limited time, no new information will be added to this portal beginning April 1. Instead, patient activity that occurs in the physician office setting beginning April 1 will appear in the My Health@Morris Hospital portal. Patients currently enrolled in the physician office portal who do not have a My Health@Morris Hospital account will need to enroll in order to access the new portal. Instructions explaining how to enroll have been sent to patients through the physician office portal. In addition, patient portal enrollment information is available on the Morris Hospital website.
Serving patients from 27 locations, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers includes the 89-bed Morris Hospital, as well as physician offices in Braidwood, Channahon, Coal City, Dwight, Gardner, Marseilles, Mazon, Minooka, Morris, Newark, Ottawa, and Seneca. Through the services of over 1,700 healthcare professionals, physicians and volunteers, Morris Hospital provides lifesaving cardiac intervention with angioplasty and stents, a radiation therapy center for cancer patients, state-of-the-art intensive care unit, sleep center, and walk-in care at three urgent care locations. Morris Hospital is a Level II trauma center, Level II perinatal care provider, and primary stroke center. The hospital is known for its compassionate and personalized approach to healthcare.